Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Trying to Find Balance

"Sailboat", 30"x30", oil and encaustic wax on panel.
Available at Whistler Village Art Gallery

Balance: A state in which various parts form a satisfying and harmonious whole and nothing is out of proportion or unduly emphasized at the expense of the rest.

Balance. It's something that many of us hope to achieve, but, if you are anything at all like me, you find it difficult to do. I am, by nature, somewhat of a workaholic. I do my best at whatever it is that I do, and I am always looking to achieve more. I am abitious and driven, and because of this, I often find that my life lacks balance.

In the past, I was always trying to find the time to paint. I had to find a balance between teaching during the day and painting after work. Painting was important to me (and still is) so I needed to find a way to work that into my schedule on a regular basis. Nowadays I don't struggle so much to make painting a part of my daily life. In fact, now I find that I don't do much other than paint, well, and teach during the day too, that is. I find that I spend every spare moment that I can in the studio, to the point of it being a "problem" some would say.

"Motorbike", 30"x30", oil and encaustic wax on panel.
Available at Whistler Village Art Gallery
 If I am invited to spend the day out with a friend, the first thing that pops in my mind is "but this will take me away from the studio". If I need to make a doctor's appointment I think "but how will I fit this in and get into the studio?" I haven't been shopping or have done anything social in a long time because, that's right, it will take me away from the studio. Forget about getting sick. There's no time for that. IF by some chance I don't get into the studio for a day, I feel extremely guilty and start thinking that I am behind schedule. Everything that may come up during my day is time away from painting. I never thought I would say this, but painting is taking over my life!

Some of you may know that my husband was recently diagnosed with cancer, and while he is okay now, it was pretty scary for about a month. There were a lot of doctor appointments to attend, surgery, and other things that needed to be taken care of. Needless to say, there wasn't much time to paint. I was resolved to not getting as much time in the studio as I usually did. That's not to say that I didn't panic about the time away from the studio. I did...big time. It was during this time that I started to realize that my life was still off balance.

I guess all this time I thought that since I was painting every day, which I have had to struggle to do in the past, that I had managed to find balance in my life. After this past month, I realized I was just fooling myself. I am not leading a balanced life. I had just found a way to not make my day job keep me from art. My painting was out of proportion to what was part of the rest of my life AND it was "unduly emphasized at the expense of the rest". I don't go to the gym anymore. I don't socialize much. I don't do a number of things I used to do all in the name of art. As much as I like creating my art, I need it to not take over my life.

It's a struggle, balance. I'm still not sure how to find it, but now that I am aware that there are other things in life that are important and should have some priority (you would think at this age I would know that already!), I can only hope that I am a little closer to being a well-rounded, balanced person.

1 comment:

  1. You are a very brave person to look closely at your own behavior and talk publicly about it! Lots of people can't admit it to themselves...and remember balance isn't static, it's a bit of a moving target!